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As you look back on your time as a Christian, what has helped you grow the most in your ability to do ministry?
Summary: It’s important that we become excellent stewards of everything God gives us, whether that be money, time, influence, spiritual gifts or talents. There are five practical ways to grow in the gifts and abilities God has given us. They are known as The Five Es (Exposure, Education, Environment, Experience, Evaluation).
Brainstorm: Each person take a moment and identify some area in which they want to grow. This could be a spiritual gift, a talent, an ability, or a way to lead others.
Read: Once each of you has that area in mind, read through “The Five E’s” below and answer the questions.
Be exposed to people who have experience and abilities in the areas in which you wish to grow. Make sure you can see a living, breathing person who does excellent work in that area. As you observe this person, you will pick up on traits and principles which make that person good at what they do.
Education is where you intentionally take time to learn a certain topic. You might sit down and listen to how someone does something. You may also want to read a book on the subject or take a class. Whatever the topic, be sure to be an active learner.
You need a place where you can grow in your gifts and ask any question without being made to feel stupid. You need an environment where you can learn without fear of failure. A good environment can also be a place where people involved in your area of interest work or hang out. Internships can be great ways to be in the right environment.
Nothing beats experience and good old trial and error. After being exposed to something, you should try it yourself. You probably won’t be great at it right away, but you’ll never get better if you don’t gain experience. You need plenty of opportunities to try, fail, learn from mistakes, and grow.
If you are really going to grow in a particular area, you must receive evaluation. You need to receive helpful, honest feedback from someone you trust and respect. Hopefully this will be done in a kind and encouraging manner. Without evaluation, you’ll miss out on opportunities for growth.
Brainstorm: Knowing that most people won’t give you unsolicited feedback unless asked to do so, brainstorm (together) a few good ways to ask for feedback characterized by grace and truth?
Pray: In light of what we’ve discussed, how can we pray for each other right now?
Since we last met, what happened as a result of expressing Christ’s love to others?
How can you, or we, express Christ’s love to others this week?
Here are a few ideas:
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